BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — It was 1 a.m., on October 30 when a sharp pain in Sarah Dimaso’s stomach sent her to the emergency room.
“They ran a bunch of tests and said I had a blood clot on my spleen,” Dimaso said.
Dimaso was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Blue Springs. The hospital gave her a rapid COVID-19 test immediately.
“Within an hour or two they came back and said I don’t have COVID, and I went to a room,” she said, not surprised since she had no symptoms.
Later that same day, upon request of a doctor, she received a second, more intensive COVID test that went to a lab for analysis.
She was released from the hospital the next day, October 31, without ever hearing back about the results of that second test. She assumed it also must have been negative, particularly since the only medication she was prescribed was for the pain in her stomach.
The following Monday she returned to work and a normal life, and that’s where this problem starts.
“Unfortunately, I went to a birthday party, I had my children and grandchildren over for dinner, my daughter went to school,” Dimaso said.
It wasn’t until nine days later that she got the startling news from the Jackson County Health Department.
“She was just calling to verify that I had been informed that I had a positive COVID test,” Dimaso said. “I said, ‘You have to check your records, I think you have the wrong person.'”
The health department wasn’t wrong. Her second COVID test had come back positive. Why didn’t the hospital tell her?
“I would have been glad to quarantine… I wish I would have been given that chance,” she said.
Instead, Dimaso estimated she exposed as many as 40 friends and family members to the virus.
“It’s devastating,” she said.
“Now my children who are adults and have little kids can’t work (for two weeks under quarantine),” Dimaso said.
She’s also worried about her 74-year-old aunt who has multiple health problems. Dimaso spent several hours with before knowing of her diagnosis.
The Missouri Hospital Association said the hospital should have notified her. That’s standard protocol. St. Mary’s Hospital sent FOX4 this statement:
“We acknowledge that the COVID-19 result was not given to the patient in a timely manner upon discharge and we have changed our protocol so that every patient is called same day with results, even if the patient has left our facility. Delivering high quality healthcare is our top priority. We have taken this concern seriously and acted upon the information immediately.”St. Mary’s Hospital
Dimaso acknowledged that many hospitals are overwhelmed dealing with spiking COVID rates and mistakes can happen. But she wanted to share her story because she believes if it happened to her it could happen to anyone. Luckily, so far, no one she was in contact with has tested positive for the virus.
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